Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Fighting Is Down For The Count

Also, The Soloist Falls Flat, but Earth Is Impressive

by | April 23, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got bare-knuckle bouts (Fighting, starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard), the wonders of nature (Earth, narrated by James Earl Jones), a musical friendship (The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx), and some office intrigue (Obsessed, starring Idris Elba and Beyonce Knowles). What do the critics have to say?



Look, you pretty much know what you’re getting into with a movie called Fighting: lots of tough-as-nails dudes beating the stuffing out of each other. And the pundits say that while director Dito Montiel does his best to infuse interesting characterization and a sense of place, Fighting is still a shopworn underdog sports movie. Channing Tatum stars as a kid who’s just arrived in New York City from Alabama; after attempting to make a living on the streets, he falls in with a sketchy character (Terrence Howard) who realizes he may be a natural fit for the world of underground bare-knuckle brawls. The pundits say Fighting is a bit better than its setup would suggest, with a good deal of energy and a dash of gritty authenticity. However, others say the performances are a mixed bag and the script is ultimately weighted down by clichés. (Check out Terrence Howard’s Five Favorite Films.)



The popular award-winning BBC series Planet Earth offered some staggeringly beautiful images of life around the globe. If the small screen version was too limited to contain such visual majesty, now comes its multiplex companion: Earth, which critics say is a remarkable document with a timely message. Narrated by (who else?) James Earl Jones, Earth focuses on three mother/child relationships in the animal kingdom, following the exploits of polar bears, humpback whales, and African elephants. The pundits say Earth doesn’t offer a ton of insight, but the images on display are so gorgeous that viewers are unlikely to quibble too much. Plus, it invites audiences to reflect upon our place in the larger ecosystem. Earth is Certified Fresh.


The Soloist

The Soloist tells an inspiring true story, and its stars and director are Oscar nominees. But distinguished pedigree does not a movie make, and critics say The Soloist is too uneven to fully resonate. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Steve Lopez, an LA Times reporter who befriends, and writes movingly about, a homeless, profoundly mentally ill man named Nathaniel Ayers, who was once a virtuoso cellist. The pundits say all the elements are here for a moving tale, and Downey and Foxx give it everything they’ve got; unfortunately, that’s not enough to overcome the film’s lack of focus and maudlin stretches. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Downey’s best-reviewed films, and find out director Joe Wright’s Five Favorite Films).



It appears the folks behind Obsessed were dubious that critics would be, ahem, obsessed with their film. Hence, it wasn’t screened prior to its release. The movie stars Idris Elba as a successful asset manager who’s happily married — to Beyonce, no less — before an attractive, brazen office temp (Ali Larter) threatens to bring his world crashing down. Kids, it’s time to guess that Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Brendan C. for correctly guessing Crank High Voltage‘s 63 percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

facebook Song of Ice and Fire Lionsgate Travel Channel E3 Musicals Black Mirror Valentine's Day Vudu children's TV Paramount Pop TV Tarantino dogs cancelled television Film Festival boxoffice hispanic Year in Review Hallmark Family Best and Worst psychological thriller cooking Infographic thriller slashers New York Comic Con Rocky Countdown Biopics CMT foreign cancelled TV shows Star Trek toy story Rom-Com serial killer award winner comedies ABC BET Awards FXX Esquire Pirates 2015 LGBTQ Music Comedy disaster WGN Reality Competition Photos dc Disney+ Disney Plus spy thriller Marathons kids The CW Writers Guild of America romance BBC America YouTube Red Discovery Channel space VOD Set visit christmas movies Acorn TV hist canceled vampires Holiday Hallmark Christmas movies 71st Emmy Awards Crunchyroll nature Summer CNN indiana jones Animation USA comic Interview TCA 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TCM all-time war LGBT APB Showtime cancelled TV series indie stoner TV Land casting TIFF Turner NYCC elevated horror Food Network CBS stand-up comedy best Arrowverse DC Universe Trivia Amazon Prime OWN BBC One President Fox News Mary Poppins Returns FOX Premiere Dates Cartoon Network Ovation Lifetime Christmas movies free movies Video Games GIFs Podcast Turner Classic Movies Cannes spanish language 2018 Fantasy cats Character Guide Sundance TV PBS werewolf Mary poppins crime drama TCA Winter 2020 batman Quiz breaking bad Pet Sematary Sony Pictures video period drama TBS Nickelodeon die hard Tubi FX RT History Martial Arts Pop name the review Sneak Peek Red Carpet reviews Nominations zero dark thirty what to watch Avengers MSNBC travel Logo GoT tv talk animated Chernobyl book supernatural green book Spectrum Originals mutant Sci-Fi Hear Us Out crossover political drama asian-american BBC cartoon CW Seed critics Election Pride Month Universal YouTube Premium USA Network Shudder independent sag awards diversity Apple TV+ concert Oscars Classic Film biography Freeform sitcom National Geographic crime anthology Tumblr strong female leads Disney streaming service El Rey Trophy Talk See It Skip It social media mission: impossible Starz Certified Fresh reboot YA dragons Kids & Family talk show Adult Swim WarnerMedia scary movies joker First Look History Brie Larson Pixar politics Dark Horse Comics Awards Academy Awards Creative Arts Emmys Television Critics Association witnail TCA Awards Fall TV Holidays CBS All Access PaleyFest Epix docudrama dceu GLAAD cinemax doctor who Trailer BAFTA films quibi Super Bowl criterion TNT ITV psycho Comedy Central cancelled Peacock PlayStation IFC directors harry potter Superheroe NBC Comic Book Disney Plus IFC Films Winners Amazon The Arrangement Mudbound Britbox 45 aliens festivals 21st Century Fox AMC composers Country Endgame movie Heroines unscripted Anna Paquin Extras renewed TV shows screen actors guild Television Academy SXSW miniseries E! theme song comics richard e. Grant 24 frames ghosts Box Office franchise Stephen King revenge 20th Century Fox sequel natural history binge Warner Bros. television romantic comedy halloween Netflix Christmas movies twilight Black History Month Christmas documentaries Thanksgiving Emmys adventure Sundance Now cults San Diego Comic-Con Disney streaming spider-man First Reviews American Society of Cinematographers TruTV 2016 Spring TV Grammys Winter TV series HBO singing competition Masterpiece OneApp Rock teaser Awards Tour based on movie movies Film SundanceTV MCU Binge Guide Polls and Games DC streaming service 2017 medical drama adaptation The Purge TCA Disney Channel YouTube Baby Yoda Toys Apple TV Plus Ellie Kemper 4/20 technology Shondaland Apple Columbia Pictures A24 dramedy spinoff HBO Max Crackle Mindy Kaling TV renewals Hulu Tomatazos cars Action Marvel Studios Amazon Prime Video Bravo Drama Lifetime Cosplay Comics on TV Spike VH1 child's play The Walking Dead 2020 Nat Geo Mystery A&E zombies Mary Tyler Moore Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 2019 video on demand a nightmare on elm street The Witch latino comiccon MTV DGA satire game show sports cops Lucasfilm HBO Go Horror south america Captain marvel Paramount Network Schedule 007 game of thrones Calendar transformers Teen Marvel Television Sundance ABC Family golden globes crime thriller Opinion DirecTV historical drama jamie lee curtis parents spain anime SDCC discovery RT21 Walt Disney Pictures versus Funimation rotten movies we love police drama universal monsters BET VICE Ghostbusters Women's History Month finale Western blockbuster blaxploitation Rocketman dark robots Emmy Nominations science fiction Amazon Studios zombie ESPN Star Wars news Musical chucky Netflix Elton John Reality TLC screenings FX on Hulu justice league X-Men Watching Series ratings mockumentary TV Superheroes DC Comics Syfy Marvel true crime canceled TV shows documentary